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Taliban car bombing kills 12 in Afghanistan

Police secure the area around the car of former Greek prime minister and former central bank chief Lucas Papademos following the detonation of an envelope injuring him and his driver, in Athens, Greece, May 25, 2017.

Kabul ( Afghanistan): A large Taliban explosion targeting an elite Afghan militia force that has worked closely with the C.I.A. killed at least a dozen people on Saturday in the eastern part of the country.

Gen. Faizullah Ghairat, the police chief of Khost Province, which borders Pakistan, said that members of the Khost Protection Force, a militia trained and paid for by the United States, were returning from a mission and had stopped at a crowded bazaar when a car bomb exploded, the New York Times reported.

There were conflicting reports about the death toll.

Najib Danish, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry put the number at 18, while another senior security official said 13 people had been killed.

It was not immediately clear how many of the casualties were civilians or members of the militia, known as K.P.F.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which came on the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar.

In a statement to the news media, the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that the attack had been planned for months and that it had targeted “the strike force that is trained by the American C.I.A.” (ANI)